Little Busters! - Mio Nishizono Route & Character Discussion

Never knew a schizophrenic hallucination could have a birthday. :confused:

I liken Midori’s character to a temptress, a character that tries to dissuade the protagonist from his goal with something enticing, like sexual pleasure (which she actually does use in the route). However, her goal in tempting Riki was not to goad him into accepting her as ‘Mio’, but to see if he could be strong enough to persuade Mio to give up her desire to disappear from the world due to her grief in forgetting Midori. Midori never intended to be a replacement for Mio, and she knew that there would be a point where Mio would forget her, because she was a figment of Mio’s schizophrenic mind.

If anything, I would compare her to a softer Kanata, the main difference being that while Midori had no intention of hurting Riki or Mio, Kanata goes out of her way to make sure that Riki and Haruka never succeed in finding her true lineage, even to the point of breaking them emotionally. Midori was also more focused on having Riki choose the lesser of two evils, because having Midori around instead would only hurt Riki emotionally, while trying to save Mio instead would require greater strength, and Midori was only preparing Riki for that greater challenge.

So, to Mio’s hallucination/twin sister, I wish her a very happy birthday! (pachi pachi pachi)

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I actually prefer Midori over Mio. Her intentions were really good and she confused the shit out of Riki at times. I actually think, that Midori was one of the biggest hurdles for Riki and she is probably the reason why I like Mio’s route so much.

There was one thing I liked about Midori and that was her mindf**k about the glasses. That actually made me stop and think about it: “Wait, did she wear glasses?” That was a very enjoyable part of her portion of Mio’s route.

That said, I’m not a big fan of her overall character, and much prefer Mio (guess I like the “Nagato” type).

I completely agree with this and sympathize with that aspect to her. Whether she succeeded or not wouldn’t have been a bad thing for the then current Mio. (Mio would’ve “won” either way.)


You gotta love her Jedi tricks and general mind twists who proves human memory is unreliable

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While reading LB, I noticed that I tend to be very hasty when it comes to judging people and fictional characters. This was especially noticeable when I was faced with characters like Midori and Kanata and did not yet know “the whole story”.
In mid-route, I would think about what I would do and say if I was in Riki’s shoes, which essentially boiled down to walking up to that person I didn’t like and tell to their face what a rotten piece of… bad thing they are. And for that purpose, I would go out of my way to choose especially hateful and insulting words aimed at making that person hate themselves. Well, I sure am happy that Riki is a better person than I am xD

While I wouldn’t consider Midori as great and likeable #1-favorite-heroine as Mio, she would still do pretty well even as a standalone character. I like her pushy, somewhat mischeivous personality and her Mio-level intelligence is definitely a plus, too. While using a different manner of speech, Midori is certainly capable of winning most arguments, even going as far as making people question their own memory, and by extension, their feelings.
On the other hand, I think Midori would be tough to deal with whenever your opinion differs from hers.


For the K.E.Y.:

My family has some history of certain mental problems, and we’re all pretty smart, so it is fairly easy for me to find someone like Mio Nishizono attractive. I love her route for how it explores her character in ways I haven’t seen a Key route attempt. Mio isn’t put down because of her strange sense of humor and enjoyment, or misunderstood because of her above-average intelligence. She’s wholeheartedly welcomed into the Little Busters because she fits in well with their weirdness. What Mio’s route actually tells us is the problem is her inability to accept herself for who she is.

It’s a problem I’ve had at least once myself, and I can at least see where Mio is coming from. I once thought myself to be misunderstood and lacking in self-confidence to the point where I thought it better if I never existed. If someone like Riki (in my case, several people) didn’t strive to give myself worth, I’d be in a similar position to Mio in her route. To see Mio relieved of any doubt at the end felt like closure to that same problem for me, which I am grateful for.


It seems there are three main reasons to enjoy Mio’s route, and after rereading it I’m feeling the three of them again and enjoying it even more than the first time. In my mind, the three of them happen at the same time. That’s why it’s my favourite heroine route in LB!, way ahead of the rest of them. I think that most of us around here could be affected but at least two of these reasons.

-Solid writing: for me, but trying to be as objective as possible, it’s clearly the best written route (Saigusa’s being the second one). The core themes are adequately developed and integrated in the plot, and also fit perfectly with the main issues in Little Busters’ whole story. The interactions with the rest of the main characters are acceptably good. Foreshadowing, both within the route and of other routes, is constant and brilliantly executed. C’mon, even one of the first sentences of Midori clearly foreshadows her true mission. The length is just right and almost every sentence is meaningful. It may perfectly be in the top 3 of Key’s routes. Unless you dislike Mio or the topics that this piece deals with, you have to appreciate its soundness.

-Positive bias towards Mio: most of us here can relate somehow to the kind of personality that Mio has. Maybe we have some of her traits, maybe we’re surrounded by people who are partly like her, or maybe we love people with similarities to her. Her humour, her shyness, keeping some distance with the world, being a bookworm… choose your favourite(s). I’m not saying that Mio is a badly written character, in fact it’s the opposite. Her behaviour is quite “real”, meaning that unlike other characters you could expect to find somebody quite similar to her in real life, her experiences clearly affected her evolution in a natural way, and, even when using some traits of typical tropes, she’s more than that. However, it feels like Mio is a liked character because she’s a quite relatable person for the average (if this concept exists) Key fan.

-“Air” factor: I don’t know how to express it… but the feeling that I got when reading Air is vastly different to Key’s other stuff… but Mio’s route. For example: nostalgia and a certain degree of sadness all across the route, even in the happiest moments? Check. Sea? Check. Topics as lost of one’s identity, being forgotten by others… as in Tohno’s route ? Check. Some symbols deeper than usual, and complicated to understand just using the typical Western way of thinking? Check. Don’t know if you agree, but as a person who loved Air, the taste that Mio’s route left in my route, salty, wet and slightly sour, was quite similar (wow, that last sentence is weird)


Mio was my favourite character - until I got into her route. At times, it was just border-line incomprehensible. We could sit here and argue all day about the facets of Mio and Midori’s characters, and Midori’s reasons for being, but the fact is, the author never provided enough information to make any sort of call on it. Probably intentional, but that’s what contributed to it being so ‘wtf’. The whole thing just reeked of ham-fisted attempts at being metaphysical, and asking the ‘big questions’. It was, on the whole, incredibly pretentious, in my opinion.

Haruka’s I quite liked, I can’t decide between hers and Komari’s as my favourite - though they should’ve left her character design alone from how it was originally supposed to be, that hair do is ludicrous.Who has one small and one long ‘tail’ on the same damn side!?

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There really are two kinds of people :stuck_out_tongue:


Yeah, I feel the opposite of Shiney. Her character is pretty dry (because she’s meant to be) and other that a funny moments she’s just kinda there, unlike the rest of the little busters. But her route is one of the best constructed in the game. It doesn’t really waste a whole lot of time on any fluff, it’s well paced, and it uses the game’s themes of friendship and courage well.

OK now We’re here.

Let’s start with this Mio is your typical sad, lonely kinda depressed character, she is curious calm and a little mysterious too, but yeah she isn’t that different from her archetype, that is not bad I mean with all the energy from the other characters, her character distinguish herself, but yeah nothing else to say an ok character. Then we have Midori who is her complete opposite, energetic, talkative even provocative but I don’t know her existence is normal, I mean she’s there and that’s all. Since you get to see her , there is nobody else with you so her only interactions (or at least the ones you know) are with Riki, and she isn’t on the screen for a lot of time, so there is no way to say if she’s good or bad, she’s ok I guess.

Then now we go to the route. We start with a poetry competition where everybody contributed with Mio and RIki, their attempts were kinda funny. Next Riki and Mio get to spend sometime together, in which Riki get to know Mio’s fascination wiki books and her personal collection ( which almost killed him). Besides that Riki borrows one of her books and in the common route he got the chance to read a piece of her favorite one.After this Riki start realizing he developed feelings for Mio and confessed to her, but got rejected.

Then something weird started to happen during the route many people ignored Mio, which was normal during all the game, but Riki thought it was more than usual. On the next day Mio was completly different and many people talk to her and refer to her as Midori, which gets Riki confused, since that wasn’t the same girl who rejected him, in fact she was really close with him. Riki met Midori together with Mio previously so he didn’t understand why people took her as Nishizono and forget about Mio.

Then Riki and Midori figth and argue a lot of times and since nobody remembers Mio at all, Riki has to find her all by himself. Riki can remember her since Mio gave him her favorite book as a parting gift and he still had it, until Midori took it back. Then struggling to keep with his memories Riki started to wander looking for something that helps him remember. He saw the poem they wrote together and continue with his mission to bring Mio back. Midori understood his desperation and gave him a clue about where Mio can be, so it’s up to you to trust her or not.

If you don’t, then you go to the bad end you will never find Mio and accept Midori as Mio , this part is a little confusing you stay together for a while until narcolepsy hits and everything finish with just that, well actually there wasn’t many things that could take place here, but it was weird. On the other hand if you do trust Midori, you will find Mio who will tell you how she wants to be free and escape from her life and the world saying her farewell, she turns into a seagull and leaves, yeah really weird. But that’s not all, Riki will start a persecution swimming for countless time, yeah breaking reality , not only for the time he spent swimming, but Midori and Mio discuss the situation and decide what will they do. Finally Riki wakes up together with Mio who tells him that everything ends, but she’s unhappy without Midori, then Riki confort her and the two end up together, yeah kinda ok.

Well about this I can just say it was really weird, but it was not bad exactly. In the route when Mio disappeared for the first time and Riki met Midori , the past of Mio is explained beign alone during her childhood, she had a weird experience that make Midori appear and spend time with her. However she was consider crazy and had a hard time with that with her mother in a special hospital. This point was ok, it was a bit sad and tells you a little about why mio is like she is, she had been alone all the time. However when Midori take part of the route, it wasn’t bad just weird, really weird. Was Midori her shadow , her imagination, is a projection of Mio, who knows. Riki is the only one who wanted her back, not even herself since she thought she owed Midori, only a little part of her wanted to stay but she decided to leave.

So she disappeared magically and he brought her back magically, yeah not ok. The message was ok I mean you can’t no that’s not it, you shouldn’t escape from reality , that’s not healthy you should face your problems not wait for them to dissapear that’s not gonna happen. The execution was weird but I think that’s the message they tried to send, Mio could overcame her problems together with Riki instead of leaving reality. Face forward

The route is average, is not the best of course but is not the worst either.

Thank you, very much.

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I’m gonna talk about an interesting experience I had with Nishizono’s Route.

I just started playing Little Busters and it is my first playthrough of the game. I was absolutely addicted to the game. Every single day and every single moment I was awake I would play the game all the way until 7 or 8 in the morning completely sleep deprived (this was during summer vacation when I was still in high school).

I had decided on Nishizono’s Route first and went down her story path. I learned many things about her. She taught me some random yet interesting facts (some of which I already knew about). While she doesn’t really show emotions, she does feel them and those few moments where she does express them always puts a smile on my face either with a warm feeling in my heart or just laughing from being surprised. But then as I went further into her story route Nishizono disappeared and was replaced by Midori.

Riki and Midori were having a conversation about Nishizono. Riki proclaiming that he will never forget her. Midori completely taunts him by saying that he has already forgotten about Nishizono wearing glasses. THIS is where my interesting experience kicks in. It is 6 in the morning and I have been getting very little sleep since I started playing Little Busters. Because of my sleep deprivation I actually had trouble with my memory and could not remember if Nishizono was wearing glasses or not, just like Riki was having trouble remembering. Midori continues to mock Riki for not remembering, and in turn felt like she was mocking me as well. I started to doubt myself and my memories. The game proceeds to show Nishizono wearing glasses and when I saw that I thought to myself…I did forget… It did not feel unnatural or out of place for some reason. Sleep deprived or not, I could not forgive myself for forgetting something so important. Midori then reveals that she was lying the whole time and walks away. I was shocked.

The reason this is such a memorable moment for me is because that whole scene, all the emotions I felt during that moment (all thanks to my lack of sleep), allowed me to completely understand what Riki was feeling.

And that was only the second most memorable moment that I experienced in the game.


It’s really really cool when the readers are actually able to get so into the scene, that their memories are influenced by it. I don’t think it’s as crazy as you think. I definitely found myself doubting my memories briefly when that scene happened. It just goes to show that, memories are not recordings; they are very susceptible to outside influences. Memories get rewritten constantly by new information. I think that’s what Kashida Leo was trying to play with here, and I get really happy to hear it actually worked on people. Makes that experience very personal.


I’m not sure if most people will be able to gain the same experience, but surely that is probably one of the most impactful scenes in the game should you indeed forget about it entirely.

Unfortunately I was not one of the (un)lucky few who gave in to Midori’s words. Maybe it made me feel better about myself, but it took away a lot from the experience while reading. I remember screaming to Riki internally “DON’T TRUST THAT DAMN BITCH” (or something along the vernacular; pardon the french)


What are you all talking about?
Mio wears glasses, the scene was Midori saying Mio didn’t wear glasses. It had a flashback to that sepia-tone CG, here’s the coloured original:


The reason why I think this moment is so crazy for me is because I have very good memory and If I had proper amount of sleep, I’m pretty certain that I would never have understood what Riki was feeling during that time.



I remember not being that big on Mio’s route when I first saw and then subsequently read it, but I’ve come to appreciate it more over time as I heard more about what other people interpreted into it. I feel ready to approach this one with an open mind and hope I’ll come to love it this time around.

So I didn’t read the posts before me so sorry if I’m reiterating something but I didn’t finish rereading the route yet. So I just wanted to point out that holy crap the language switch is useful. I suddenly had the idea of switching to Japanese to read the name Mio and Midori and holy shit that made me lose my shit. According to what I remember of Chinese, the kanji for Mio can be read as beautiful fish whereas the kanji for Midori can be read as beautiful bird. So if that wasn’t already mentioned before, it connects to how the poem mentions the sea and the sky don’t touch. The fish stays in the sea while the bird stays in the sky but Mio as the fish wanted to become the bird. So yeah that thing.


My one thing with the Nishizono route is…how is it all possible? Key always relies on anime magic to explain some of the routes, but they’re always lore-abiding and make sense according to the story and universe they take place in. But this one still doesn’t make sense to me. What was Midori? An imaginary friend given form? A shadow given form? And how did she literally replace Mio, how did Mio literally just disappear, and how does swimming endlessly in the ocean and half-drowning somehow make you hear the two of them talking and then you wake up on the beach?

HOW IS IT ALL POSSIBLE? This is the only Key route I’ve EVER had trouble truly understanding.


Fifty-five in double U
Seventy-nine H
its Nishizono Mio
and she is a fujoshi

Mio is not bad.
I reread her route quickly.
The sorrow she felt,
was perfectly conveyed here.
I throughly enjoyed it.

Memories make us.
Experiences change us.
What is true and false?
“Believe in yourself, Riki”
But believe in others too

This route had symbols
in the form of colors
and some metaphors:
the blue of the sky and sea
the white of the bird and clouds

I said to myself,
“Organize your thoughts CJ”
so I used tanka.
Think like Mio and Riki…
…what the fuck just happened here?

Memories are true
Manipulation occurs
Memories are true?
Midori stop! Midori!
Mio had thin framed glasses.

Air cannot be seen
Nor can the blue of water
What can we trust then?
Fuck if I know, Midori?
Does she have good intentions?

This compilation
hosts my thoughts about Mio.
This shy reserved girl,
sometimes she fantasizes.
Natsume Kyousuke x Riki
(The x is silent and Kyousuke is two syllables I think)

Mio. Midori.
Beautiful fish of the sea.
White bird of the sky.
As much as they want to switch
the wind blows and then bad end.

The white parasol
symbolizes innocence.
It hides the shadow.
Regret resides underneath.
This is where the end begins.

In infinite blue
the white bird exists alone.
But where are the clouds?
Clouds keep the bird company.
And so does the bird’s shadow.